Humans have an unwritten agreement with the rest of Earth’s creatures. We can kill them, eat them, destroy their habitats, cage them or render them into extinction and they pretty much have to leave us alone. I didn’t say it was an equitable agreement — it’s just been in place for a long time.
The other night, I was watching the sports wrap-up, waiting for the house to cool down, when suddenly there was a bat in my living room. I was not sure who was more concerned about this, me or the bat, but both of us started to do a lot of frantic movements, ducking, swerving and swooping.
I opened some doors and windows and turned on some more lights. I don’t know why I did those things, but then there is nothing in the Man of the House Instruction Manual that covers removing bats. Hardware stores do not sell Bat Begone that you can spray, nor does anyone sell a Bat bat. So I grabbed the broom.
When most men are confronted with rodents, either crawling or flying, the broom seems to be the weapon of choice. It is handy, it has a large surface striking area and best of all a long handle. Besides, in Canada, having a shotgun loaded and handy is not acceptable.
We begin the battle with some opening lunges and parries and he tries to back me into the coffee table to get me off balance. As he streaks by, I can see the fangs and the red, glowing eyes checking the thick veins in my neck. I am momentarily distracted trying to remember if it’s a wooden stake for vampires and a silver bullet for werewolves, or vice versa.
Using some very unique yet well co-ordinated moves, I herd the intruder down to the spare bedroom and close the door, allowing me to catch my breath, knowing full well my adversary is doing the same thing. I step back into the arena and he once again darts from the ceiling to the floor and back up, avoiding each of my swings. He is sensing my arms are tiring.
I time his circuits and then I strike him a glancing blow that knocks him out of the air, but where did he land? I am not sure which is worse, knowing where he is or not knowing where he is. If he gets in my hair he will tangle there, give me a rabid bite and I will have to have 24 needles in my belly button if I am to survive. I don’t know if there is actually a recorded instance of that ever happening, but we learn that in Grade 1.
Then he is up again. I now hold the broom with both hands, just like Luke Skywalker held his light sabre. Each time he attacks there is a high-pitched squeal. I think this may be a sensing device, then I realize the squeals are coming from me.
This time my blow is swift and mighty and the prince of darkness slams against the wall and slides to the floor. The force was with me. I scoop him into a container and throw him out into the night.
Testosterone is a lovely thing, I feel like I have slain a grizzly with a pen knife. A man must protect his home at all costs. At least that’s what McGregor says.